Meller Group : Single Molecule Biophysics & Nano-biotechnologyTechnion Logo

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dsDNA in nanopore dsDNA in nanopore

Single Molecule Sensing Using Nanopores

Nanopores are single-molecule analogs of gel electrophoresis.

Gel Electrophoresis (GE) is one of the most broadly used methods for nucleic acid and protein characterization in life sciences. In GE an electrical field is used to mobilize biological molecules through a porous media in which molecules are separated by their size and/or charge. Nanopores are the single-molecule analogs of GE, permitting the analysis of individual biopolymers.

 

Why is analyzing single-biomolecules important?

Circumventing costly and error-prone molecular amplification, such as the Polymerase Chain Reaction, which is required for most of the bulk detection methods, saves precious time and money. In addition, the ability to characterize individual molecules allows us to observe fine features that are masked by the ensemble averaging.

 

DNA Barcoding and Genotyping

We recently demonstrated, for the first time, the ability to barcode or genotype single DNA molecules using solid-state nanopores. Solid-state nanopores have proven to be one of the most sensitive and effective single-molecule biosensors, permitting the detection of as low as a few atto-moles (10^-18 moles) of DNA copies. However, sensing with solid state nanopores lacked the sequence specificity required for many biomedical applications. Our project ‘Genotyping Nanopores’ was focused on addressing this fundamental deficiency. With its completion, this project opens up multiple possible directions for real-life applications in biomedical research.

(check out our recent publications here)

 

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